Sunday, May 15, 2011

Peking Duck: Yum!

Carving Peking duck
Peking duck is my very favorite Chinese food; I like it even better than gongbaojiding (chicken in spicy peanut sauce, sometimes called kung pao chicken in the United States.)

I took a cooking class in Beijing where I learned to make gongbaojiding, but Peking duck isn't on the instructor's menus. Of course, if I learned to make it, I would make it all the time and grow tired of it.

At my insistence, we usually eat Peking duck at least two or three times when we return to China for visits. If you have cholesterol problems, you probably shouldn't eat Peking duck as it is very greasy, both the meat and the crunchy skin. But it is just too uberdelicious to worry about that.

Most restaurants will carve the duck at your table. This is fun to watch. These days the carvers wear those thin plastic throw-away gloves when they carve. I know this is a more sanitary way to carve the duck, but somehow it just doesn't have the same atmosphere. Oh well, it doesn't affect the taste of the duck . . .

Peking duck is known as kao ya or roast duck in Beijing. If you're in Beijing and want to sample Peking duck, just look for restaurants which have a huge plastic duck outside the entrance. Quanjude is premier Beijing's Peking duck chain, but the duck is just as good at other restaurants.

Going to China?

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